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9 DAYS TO 2022 KICKOFF: Adrian Martinez

In which BracketCat counts down the ninth day until the 2022 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State quarterback Adrian Martinez.

#2 Adrian Martinez
#AM2 is now #AM9: QB Adrian Martinez (2) has brought his talents two hours south with hopes of finally finishing his season (and career) in a bowl.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.

Goal No. 9: ELIMINATE MISTAKES. Don’t beat yourself.

#9 Adrian Martinez

True Super Senior | 6-3 | 225 lbs. | Fresno, California
Adrian Martinez
Adrian Martinez
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Quarterback
  • Previous College: University of Nebraska
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

Adrian Martinez (b. Jan. 7, 2000) is a transfer quarterback from Nebraska who enters the 2022 season ranking in the top 10 nationally among active players in 15 categories.

He also is one of just two quarterbacks in the nation entering 2022 with at least 8,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards in a career.

Martinez played in 39 games with 38 starts over the previous four years at Nebraska, setting the Nebraska career records for total offense (10,792), completions (670), 300-yard total offense games (19), 400-yard total offense games (five) and 250-yard passing games (16).

He is the first player in Nebraska’s storied history with four 1,000-yard passing seasons (not even Eric Crouch achieved this mark!), and the first Nebraska quarterback (and only the fourth quarterback in Big Ten Conference history) with four 500-yard rushing seasons.

A team captain over the final three years of his Cornhusker career (and the first three-time team captain in Nebraska history), Martinez played at Nebraska with current Wildcat teammates linebacker Will Honas and wide receiver Kade Warner.

Entering 2022, K-State fans have high hopes he will continue his productivity level without one bug/feature Nebraska fans continuously complain/opine about at length — that Adrian Martinez is a “turnover machine.” (An unfair characterization, if statistically somewhat valid.)

In that sense, thoroughly embracing today’s Snyder goal — “Eliminate Mistakes” — truly will be the key to a successful season for this talented, experienced signal caller.

Martinez prepped under head coach George Petrissans at Clovis West High School in California, where he was rated the 98th-best prospect overall in the Class of 2018 by Rivals, while he was 103rd by ESPN and 139th by 247Sports.

Rivals ranked him the seventh-best dual threat quarterback in the class, while he was viewed as the 11th-best overall prospect in the state of California by ESPN.

Selected for the 2018 Under Armour High School All-American Game, Martinez missed his senior season of high school due to injury, but shined as a junior as he threw for 2,562 yards and 25 touchdowns on 220-of-366 aim. He also threw for 1,462 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore, while rushing for more than 900 yards.

Martinez made 11 starts in 2018 as a true freshman for Nebraska en route to Freshman All-American from the Football Writers Association of America and honorable mention All-Big Ten accolades from both the league’s coaches and media.

He accumulated 2,617 passing yards and 17 touchdowns on 224-of-347 aim while also rushing for 629 yards and eight scores, and he ranked 12th in the nation — and tops among freshmen — with 295.1 yards of total offense per game.

Martinez set the school record for 400-yard total offense games (three) and 300-yard total offense games (seven), while he also broke the Nebraska freshman records for completions, completion percentage (64.6), passing yards, total offense (3,246), passing touchdowns and total touchdowns (25).

He earned National Freshman of the Week honors following the season opener at Colorado, in which he accounted for 304 yards of offense, and was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week on three occasions — after the Minnesota (401 yards of total offense, four total touchdowns), Ohio State (338 yards of total offense, three total touchdowns) and Illinois (345 yards of total offense, four total touchdowns) games.

Martinez finished his freshman campaign by helping Nebraska to rally from a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter at Iowa, although the Huskers lost on a last-second field goal.

He then started 10 of the Huskers’ 12 games in 2019, missing two due to injury, as he threw for 1,956 yards and 10 touchdowns on 149-of-251 aim, while rushing for 626 yards and seven touchdowns, ranking third in the Big Ten by averaging 258.2 total offensive yards per game.

Martinez posted a career-high 446 yards of total offense at Illinois, the third-highest total in school history. It already was his fourth career game with more than 400 yards of total offense, a school record he achieved in only 15 starts.

That game also included a season-high 328 passing yards with three touchdowns, helping Martinez to appear on watch lists for the Davey O’Brien Award, Manning Award, Maxwell Trophy and Walter Camp Award that year. He also was an Academic All-Big Ten performer.

Martinez saw action in seven games of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season with six starts, throwing for 1,055 yards and four touchdowns on 108-of-151 aim.

He also led the team with 521 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 91 attempts.

Martinez ranked second in the nation in rushing yards per game among all quarterbacks (74.4) and set a school record for completion percentage (71.5), a mark that led the Big Ten Conference and ranked fourth in the nation.

His completion percentage also ranked fifth in Big Ten history, highlighted by his going 18 of 20 (90 percent) at Iowa to set the school record for completion percentage in a game.

Martinez rushed for a career-best 157 yards and two scores at Rutgers, and also had a career-high 23 rushing attempt against the Scarlet Knights.

He once again finished on the watch lists for the Maxwell Award and Manning Award, and also was a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-District and Academic All-Big Ten performer.

Martinez started each of the first 11 games of last year, but missed the season finale due to injury. Despite this setback, he again picked up honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from the league’s coaches after throwing for 2,863 yards and 14 touchdowns on 189-of-306 aim, while he rushed for 525 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Martinez ranked fifth nationally in passing yards per completion (15.15), sixth in passing yards per attempt (9.36), 13th in total offense (308.0), 20th in passing yards per game (260.3), 24th — and third among quarterbacks — in rushing touchdowns (13) and 25th in points responsible for per game (14.9).

He also set another school record for total offense per game, while he ranked fifth in Nebraska history in total offense (3,388), sixth in passing yards and ninth in completions.

Martinez totaled 343 yards of total offense at Illinois — outgaining the Illini by himself — as he threw for 232 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 111 yards and another score. His contest in Urbana-Champaign also included a career-long run of 75 yards.

Martinez tied his career high with three passing touchdowns against Michigan, while he had a career-high three rushing touchdowns against Northwestern.

He led the Huskers to 452 yards of offense — including 374 yards by himself — at Wisconsin against a Badgers team that ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense at the time by allowing just 216.3 yards per game.

Martinez again made the watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and Manning Award, while he was a semifinalist for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year. He also was one of 10 finalists among all male athletes in the nation, in every sport, for the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar of the Year award.

Martinez earned his bachelor’s degree in management from Nebraska in May 2021 and currently is working to finish his master’s degree in business administration at K-State.

He seems like an all-around great guy who deserves to finish his career with some success after four years of futility and frustration under Scott Frost. Here’s hoping it ends with a Big 12 Championship and a New Year’s Six bowl victory for the Wildcats!

P.S. Martinez has a pretty entertaining podcast, too — you can hear it here on Spotify. Also a must-read, if you haven’t yet: His love story with K-State soccer player Marisa Weichel.